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Saul Who?

Acts of Harvest   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Title: Saul Who?
What this is all about: Salvation
What I want you to know: Salvation is for all people
What I want you to do: Share what Christ has done in your life, to those He has put in your life
How you do it: Practice the 3 Circles method
Series: Acts of Harvest
Date: March 4, 2018
Pastor Mike Ellis
Today we are continuing our journey through the book of Acts.
We are doing so through the lens of harvest.
The theme of harvest comes from
John 4:35 CSB
“Don’t you say, ‘There are still four more months, and then comes the harvest’? Listen to what I’m telling you: Open your eyes and look at the fields, because they are ready for harvest.
Up to this point we have learned that the Holy Spirit is instrumental in all aspects of ministry.
If we want to be used in what God has called us to do and be, we must first be devoted to Him alone.
We must prioritize our lives to where He is number 1.
Then and only then we will be able to minister in faith and boldness as we saw last week in our look at Philp and the Eunuch.
Today as we continue we are going to get an up-close look at the salvation of an unlikely individual and see a few of the results because of it.
Acts 9:1–2 CSB
Now Saul was still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord. He went to the high priest and requested letters from him to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any men or women who belonged to the Way, he might bring them as prisoners to Jerusalem.
Acts 9:1–2 CSB
Now Saul was still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord. He went to the high priest and requested letters from him to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any men or women who belonged to the Way, he might bring them as prisoners to Jerusalem.
- Have you ever looked at someone and their actions, and thought “there is no way that person deserves to be saved?
- I am talking about those evil people that hurt other people
- Those murderers, and abusive people.
- Those who hurt children.
- Can any of you relate?
- Right here in Acts we are reading about such a person.
- This Saul guy was destroying all he could that belonged to church.
- He would arrest people, men, women, and children.
- They would be beaten.
- And some would even be murdered.
- Look back at and then
Acts 7:58 CSB
They dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. And the witnesses laid their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul.
Acts 8:1 CSB
Saul agreed with putting him to death. On that day a severe persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout the land of Judea and Samaria.
- These are the kind of people that should be put into prison and the key thrown away, right?
- Let’s see what happens.
Acts 9:3–5 CSB
As he traveled and was nearing Damascus, a light from heaven suddenly flashed around him. Falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” “Who are you, Lord?” Saul said. “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting,” he replied.
- Alright now we are getting somewhere.
- God’s got him, now right?
- This guy is going to get what he deserves.
- Jesus is questioning him, “why are you persecuting me”?
- Who are you, Saul responds,
- I am Jesus
- Yes, now this guy is going to get it.
- A little sweet revenge
Acts 9:6–9 CSB
“But get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the sound but seeing no one. Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing. So they took him by the hand and led him into Damascus. He was unable to see for three days and did not eat or drink.
- Yes, now he’s scared and his little minions are to.
- Did you catch the part about being blind, serves him right?
- He cannot do very much damage if he’s blind, plus he is hungry and thirsty.
Acts 9:10–11 CSB
There was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias, and the Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” “Here I am, Lord,” he replied. “Get up and go to the street called Straight,” the Lord said to him, “to the house of Judas, and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, since he is praying there.
- Alright, Saul is about to be picked up, this is great
Acts 9:12 CSB
In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and placing his hands on him so that he may regain his sight.”
- Wait, what! Get his sight back, what is happening?
Acts 9:13–19 CSB
“Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard from many people about this man, how much harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. And he has authority here from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.” But the Lord said to him, “Go, for this man is my chosen instrument to take my name to Gentiles, kings, and Israelites. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” Ananias went and entered the house. He placed his hands on him and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road you were traveling, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” At once something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptized. And after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul was with the disciples in Damascus for some time.
- Baptized, Holy Spirit, really this guy.
- No way does he deserve any of that, this guy is a monster.
- When I was baby Christian I would think like that.
- On a serious note.
1. Salvation is for all people
a. Salvation is only for those who need it.
- So, who needs salvation?
- According to Scripture we all do
- says
Romans 3:23 CSB
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
- This idea of being needy, I find it to be interesting.
- We can look out and see people who appear to be needy.
- They may need a job, or a home, or a meal or something else,
- But when it comes to what is important meaning God and salvation we often struggle to see it or maybe just refuse to see it.
- What is that you see?
- Early on in my salvation when I was just a baby Christian, I struggled with this.
- It was hard to look out and see those who were truly in need.
- Surly the elderly couple next door, knew about Jesus, right? I don’t need to speak to them.
- Or what about the neighbor with the great house and all of the great stuff, they surely know about Jesus as well, right?
- It was difficult to determine need, but
b. This is how we find Saul in
- We find a man who is in great need of salvation
- But it is hard to see beyond his actions
- This man is going to great lengths to stop the growth of the church, including arrest, physical punishment, and even murder.
- As far as he was concerned, not one of these people deserved salvation, after all salvation was only found through the grace of God which was given only to those who followed the law precisely.
2. Responding to the Lord
a. How we respond to the Lord is directly related to our obedience to the Lord.
- Looking back at verse 10 we find Ananias responding “Here I am Lord”
- And then in verse 17 going and fulfilling the commands of laying his hands on him and baptizing him.
- Even when we think that things may be a bad idea we still need to follow the commands of the Lord.
- That is how we know that we are truly serving Him
Acts 9:19–25 CSB
And after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul was with the disciples in Damascus for some time. Immediately he began proclaiming Jesus in the synagogues: “He is the Son of God.” All who heard him were astounded and said, “Isn’t this the man in Jerusalem who was causing havoc for those who called on this name and came here for the purpose of taking them as prisoners to the chief priests?” But Saul grew stronger and kept confounding the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah. After many days had passed, the Jews conspired to kill him, but Saul learned of their plot. So they were watching the gates day and night intending to kill him, but his disciples took him by night and lowered him in a large basket through an opening in the wall.
- Saul Responds with immediate witness
-We should respond with immediate witness
3. Past sins
Acts 9:26–30 CSB
When he arrived in Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, since they did not believe he was a disciple. Barnabas, however, took him and brought him to the apostles and explained to them how Saul had seen the Lord on the road and that the Lord had talked to him, and how in Damascus he had spoken boldly in the name of Jesus. Saul was coming and going with them in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. He conversed and debated with the Hellenistic Jews, but they tried to kill him. When the brothers found out, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.
- We will suffer the consequences of our mistakes, past, present and future.
- This Saul guy is also known as the apostle Paul
- Who has God put in your life that is in need of salvation?
- How are you going to respond?
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